BASN NFL Picks: Week Four

By Tony McClean
Updated: September 29, 2005
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — Some early observations as the NFL prepares to step into the month of October.
– With apologies to the backs of Tampa’s past, Cadillac Williams may wind up being the best runner in Bucs’ history barring a major injury. He mixes the strength and power of James Wilder and Mike Alstott along with the speed and quickness of Ricky Bell and Warrick Dunn.
– Maybe I’m being stubborn, but I’m not sold on the Colts’ defense being a force for the entire season. Yes, I acknowledge that at this point that they may the league’s best, but we need a little bit more time.
– Question to Reverend Herm: Was Quincy Carter so bad that you had to wake up Cousin Vinny from his slumber and sign him? Wouldn’t a more mobile QB fit your “West Coast” offense better than a 41-year old statue?
– Any more silly questions about TO, Donovan, and the Eagles’ “chemistry” problems? I didn’t think so…….
There are four unbeaten teams (Bengals, Colts, Bucs, and Redskins) left entering Week 4. In the past five seasons, 10 clubs began the year with at least 3-0 records yet did notreach the playoffs. The high-water mark in the equation came in 2002, when six of the seven teams to begin 3-0 failed to make the playoffs.
What team did the Jacksonville Jaguars defeat for the franchise’s first regular season win?
A. Carolina Panthers
B. Atlanta Falcons
C. Buffalo Bills
D. Houston Oilers
On the first play of their existence, John Gilliam ran a kickoff back 94 yards for the first regular season touchdown in Saints’ history on September 17, 1967. However, New Orleans would lose to the Los Angeles Rams 27-13 in front of 80,879 at Tulane Stadium.
LAST WEEK: 8-6 (23-23 overall)
Well, at least we finished above .500 this week. I’m a little worried about being even overall at this stage of the season. I knew I took a chance of Romeo’s Browns at Indy, but what the hell happened to the Panthers at Miami and the Chiefs at Denver? I’m not even gonna mention the final seconds fiasco in Pittsburgh. Me and the Steelers are never getting those 52 seconds of our lives back again.
The Boys from Motown will try to be the first team to tame Tampa’s newest Cadillac as the Bucs “reunion tour” against their old NFC Central foes continues at Raymond James. Coach Mooch has had a week to prepare for this game and they’ll probably needed it. Look for this to be a close contest as their last three meetings have all been decided by 3 points. They may struggle, but Tampa should pull this out.
Pick: Bucs.
Both teams are coming off big wins: New England snuck out of Pittsburgh with a win while the Bolts and LT defeated the Giants. However, both defenses didn’t really have a banner day. Despite losing, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger both had their way with the respective defenses. Losing ex-Charger Rodney Harrison for the season is eventually going to hurt the Pats down the road. They’ll probably win this one, but the rest of the schedule is gonna get rougher.
Pick: Pats.
They’re still dancing in the streets of D.C. after the Skins stole one from the Tuna Helpers two weeks ago. Despite an offense that has had more stops than starts, Washington is looking to go 3-0 for the first time since the Super Bowl season on 1991. The Birds have been flying under the radar while Tampa, Philly, and others have been grabbing the early headlines. Keep this in mind: Grandpa Gibbs is 4-0 all-time against Seattle, Mike Holmgren is 0-3 career vs. the Skins.
Pick: Skins.
Jake Plummer must have read this column last week as he and the Broncos absolutely trashed the Chiefs on Monday Night Football last week. On the other side, the Jags pulled out a great road win against Gang Green at the Meadowlands. While Denver showed that their defense is a little better than advertised, I still think Plummer played out of his head last week. We’ll be boring and stick with the home team again.
Pick: Jags.
We sort of knew the Packers would be on the downside this season, but even this 0-3 start is pretty bad for most Cheesehead fans. Having to face an angry Carolina team on the road may not make it any better either. The Panthers are still smarting from a bad loss to Nick Saban’s rejuvenated Fish. While it may be a bit early to write anyone off after four weeks, the loser of this game may find themselves in dire straits very soon.
Pick: Panthers.
Falcons over Vikings: Vick vs. Culpepper at the Dome. Now this is must-see-TV.
Bengals over Texans: Now that the defense has caught up to the offense, Cincy isn’t taking any prisoners.
Ravens over Jets: Ray Lewis won’t allow Baltimore to go 0-3. Especially with Brook Bollinger under center.
Colts over Titans: For Tony Dungy’s sake, I hope I’m wrong about his defense.
Bills over Saints: Only because our boss (Hi, Roland!!) threatened not to speak to me if I picked against them again.
Giants over Rams: Despite the loss, I was impressed with Big Blue’s offense. The defense……That’s another story.
Eagles over Chiefs: I have halftime for the weekly “When does Vermeil start crying?” pool.
Cowboys over Raiders: We’re anxiously awaiting for the Randy Moss meltdown…..One more loss oughta do it.
49ers over Cardinals: Don’t drink the water and don’t watch this game.

IDLE: Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, Pittsburgh.